Sales Managers Share Pitch Presentation Best Practices
- by Elay Cohen
- October 9, 2013
SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform
Today I met with a group of sales managers to share best practices around customer presentations and what some call “pitch” presentations. Even though some might frown upon the word “pitch”, for its negative presentation sentiment, the concept is still strong. We agreed that the criteria of what makes a great pitch has evolved from selling to solving problems from a monologue to a dialogue and from talking to a prospect to engaging in a collaborative conversation.
I believe the word “pitch” still works and today we talked about resetting their sales teams on the attributes of a winning pitch and great customer engagements. Here is the output of a list of pitch best practices created by a group of sales managers. This is a great example of crowdsourcing sales best practices from sales leaders.
1. Listen and let the customer talk first: Start the meeting by asking a few simple questions: “I’m prepared to discuss our solution for you, but has anything changed since we last spoke?” or “Is there anything else I need to know before diving into the presentation?” Remind your sales team of the importance of keeping your customers talking.
2. Have an agenda: It’s a simple idea but so critical. It sets the tone and improves the professionalism of the experience. We all know that we need to do it. The sales manager aligned on making it mandatory in every customer meeting and even internal meetings too.
10. Turn your pitch into a story: One sales manager shared that she has her salespeople do the pitch without the slides in a dry run or a practice session to make it more of a story. Start with why the meeting is happening and the expected outcomes. Outline the customer challenges and pain. Map the problems to business value and quantify it as best as you can. Share customer proof points. Explain how this solution can become reality. Then close with next steps.
It’s Q4 and every meeting count. Make your pitch presentations the best they can be. Happy selling.
Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $300M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.
Based on my experience leading Sales Productivity at Salesforce, accelerating revenue from $300M to $3B, we’ve packaged our proven methodology into SalesHood, helping client after client achieve record breaking revenue growth.